Imagine a window box positioned at the front of your window, cascading with variegated foliage and colorful blooms. Now imagine the beautiful floral scents captured on the breeze as they flow into your home. If this sounds appealing to you, then we have some of the best plants for window boxes to get you started down the journey of window box planting.
Window box flowers not only add curb appeal to your home, but they are also a great way to enjoy nature if you don’t have outdoor space for planting. They are similar to hanging baskets yet are perched directly on the outside of your window. A gorgeous window box brings the beauty of nature so close to your home that you can touch it.
- Which Types of Plants Should I Put in a Window Box?
- How Many Plants Can I Put in a Window Box?
- Where Should I Place My Window Box?
- What Else Can I Put in a Window Box besides Flowers?
- Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)
- Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) – Best Plant for Attracting Hummingbirds in the Window Box
- Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
- Marigold (Tagetes) – Best Centerpiece Plant for Window Boxes
- Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)
- Pansy (Viola tricolor var. hortensis) – Most Colorful Filler Plant for Window Boxes
- Begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
- Geranium (Pelargonium) – Best Plants for Window Boxes
- Salvia (Salvia Officinalis)
- Verbena (Verbena Officinalis) – Best Cascading Flower
- Licorice Plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
- Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) – Perfect Draping Plant for a Window Box
- Petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana)
- Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) – Most Colorful Flower
- Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)
- Lobelia (Lobelia erinus) – Best Flowering Plant to Attract Hummingbirds
- Angelonia (Angelonia Angustifolia)
Incredible Plants for Window Boxes
Perhaps you’ve admired a neighbor’s window box and always wanted to give this type of mini-garden a try. Maybe you love gardening yet don’t have the space to plant your favorite flowers. Whatever the reason is, we’ve compiled an array of plants and flowers that look eye-catching in a window box.
Which Types of Plants Should I Put in a Window Box?
While there are a few tips to follow, there is no rule of thumb when it comes to a DIY window box planter. Some of the best plants are your favorite ones, and these types of planters reflect your style and taste. However, window boxes are a stunning addition to the front of your home when filled with trailing plants and flowering spillers.
Another thing to consider when determining which types of plants to place in a window box is the time of year and location. Try planting zinnias, petunias, and geraniums during the summer and mums, pansies, and purple fountain grass in the fall for seasonal appeal. Fill in gaps with cascading ivy or vinca for a whimsical touch.
How Many Plants Can I Put in a Window Box?
The number of plants depends on the size of the planter. The general rule of thumb is four plants for a 12-inch planter, six plants for a 16-inch planter, eight plants for a 20-inch planter, and so on. Keep in mind that a planter looks somewhat sparse in the beginning but fills out as the plants grow.
To position the plants for visual appeal, place the tallest, upright flowers in the back section of the planter. Try planting trailing foliage along the front and sides and fill in small gaps with low-growing flowers such as impatiens and pansies.
Where Should I Place My Window Box?
This depends on the types of flowers or plants you are growing. Windows that face the south receive more sunshine in the northern hemisphere and is the area that sun-loving plants grow best. Plants that tolerate partial sun and shade grow well on the east side of the house while shade-loving plants grow best on a north-facing side.
What Else Can I Put in a Window Box besides Flowers?
Window boxes are not just for flowers. They are a great way to decorate during holidays by adding seasonal items such as small gourd varieties during Thanksgiving, or holly and pine boughs during Christmas.
Another fantastic way to utilize window boxes is by planting edibles. Create an herb window box and fill it with basil, oregano, thyme, and chives. Make yourself a salad planter by planting leaf lettuce, kale, spinach, and green onions.
Sweet Potato Vine (Ipomoea batatas)
This is a warm-season annual that adds a whimsical touch to the window box with its trailing foliage of various colors that range from blue/green to purple/burgundy. The vines of this plant spread up to 6 feet with a height of 6 inches. While many varieties do not flower, there are a few that blossom.
The sweet potato vine enjoys partial to full sun and does well in pretty much any location. This vigorous plant thrives during the summer heat and spills over the edges of the window box with ease. Plant the vine in the front and sides of the window box for visual appeal.
Snapdragon (Antirrhinum) – Best Plant for Attracting Hummingbirds in the Window Box
The classic snapdragon is an upright flower with stunning blooms of color that include yellow, orange, red, white, and pink. This cool-season annual has blue/green foliage with bright blossoms growing in clusters up the flower stem.
These vibrant flowers grow best in partial to full sun. Because of their upright and tall appearance, snapdragons look their best when planted in the rear of a flower box in moist, well-drained soil. The sweet nectar of the flower attracts bumblebees and hummingbirds.
Vinca (Catharanthus roseus)
Vinca flowers are well known for their delicate array of glossy foliage and colorful blooms from summer to fall. The blossoms range in color from pink and purple to red and white and grow to a height of about 8 inches, making them a good filler for the window box.
This annual flower is a sun lover, is drought tolerant, and thrives even during the hottest days of summer. As a low maintenance plant, vinca is an excellent flower for beginning gardeners and provides dainty blooms continuously.
Marigold (Tagetes) – Best Centerpiece Plant for Window Boxes
Marigolds are easy to grow flowers from seeds that provide texture and color throughout the entire growing season. With their bright shades of yellow, orange, and red, these flowers add a vibrant splash of color to the window box, as well as repelling unwanted insects.
Marigolds enjoy full sun and are drought resistant. Their foliage is green/blue and has a delicate, fern-like appearance. With a height of up to 12 inches, these low maintenance flowers work wonderfully as a backdrop in the window box. Removing the dead blossoms encourages more flowers.
Coleus (Plectranthus scutellarioides)
Coleus is exceptionally easy to grow, and it adds a flair of unique color and texture to any flower display. This plant comes in several varieties with contrasting leaf colors, patterns, and textures in shades of green, pink, and purple.
The low growing and trailing qualities of the coleus make it an excellent filler for the window box and add visual appeal at the base of the surrounding flowers. It is a low maintenance annual that is one of the best shade loving container plants. If you bring the coleus indoors before the first frost, it grows as a houseplant. You can then bring it back outside when the weather warms again, making it quite versatile.
Pansy (Viola tricolor var. hortensis) – Most Colorful Filler Plant for Window Boxes
Pansies provide a vibrant array of colorful blooms from early spring to fall. These fragrant flowers come in splashes of bright blooms that include red, blue, purple, orange, pink, and white.
The pansy is a sun-loving flower that only grows to 6 inches in height. While they are generally an annual in colder areas, they do reseed on occasion. They are early bloomers and are a great flower to kick off the growing season.
These low lying flowers seem to dance with delight in the summer breeze and make a great addition to the flower box or as hanging flowering plants on the deck, porch, or patio. Plant pansies in areas around taller flowers to create a colorful bed that has both vertical and ground appeal.
Begonia (Begonia x semperflorens-cultorum)
Begonias are a unique looking flower with wax textured foliage and flowers. They come in many shapes, colors, and sizes, and bloom from spring to fall. Their color scheme ranges from orange and white to pink and yellow.
This easy to grow annual prefers partial to full shade and comes with either single or double blossoms. The low growth and purple-tinted foliage of the begonia make it an ideal candidate for filling open areas of a window box. Tuberous begonia blossoms are edible with a sour, lemon-like flavor.
Geranium (Pelargonium) – Best Plants for Window Boxes
There are over 300 species of geraniums in a wide range of colors, shapes, and sizes. This stunning flower has vibrant shades of red, orange, purple, pink, and white. The flowers rise above its foliage in a grand display of color.
Geraniums are annual except for zones 10 and 11. These deer resistant and drought tolerant flowers grow up to 12 inches in height and make a majestic centerpiece for the flower box. Removing the dead flowers encourages them to sprout new flowers from spring to fall.
Salvia (Salvia Officinalis)
This striking flower blooms in an array of colors from purple and blue to red and pink. Its fragrant flowers rise out of the foliage, reaching heights from 1 to 3 feet. With proper deadheading, the flowers bloom from spring to fall.
Due to its height, salvia makes an excellent backdrop for flower boxes and grow well in sunny areas. They are low maintenance, drought-tolerant, and deer resistant. The fragrant blossoms attract birds of all types, including hummingbirds, and are also useful as cut flowers.
If you grow salvia, you probably don’t even need to make hummingbird sugar water to attract these delightful birds, as they flock to the pretty blooms for nourishment.
Verbena (Verbena Officinalis) – Best Cascading Flower
Verbena provides window boxes with cascading clusters of blooms in colors of purple, blue, white, red, and pink. Expect to be surprised with beautiful blossoms from summer to fall.
This flower is both an annual and perennial and grows back each year in zones 7 through 9. Verbena enjoys sunny locations, is deer resistant, and drought tolerant. Plant it in the front and side sections of a flower box, and it spills over the sides in a fountain of color.
Licorice Plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
The licorice plant adds a soft and subtle backdrop when planted with other colorful flowers. This delicate looking yet robust plant comes in silvery-white shades with soft textured leaves that give it a unique appeal.
This plant enjoys partial to full sun, is low maintenance and drought tolerant. The licorice plant has the most appeal when used in combination with colorful flowers. It has fuzzy leaves that not only add charm to the display but also keeps garden pests away.
If you decide to add a licorice plant or two to garden areas in addition to a window box, pair it with shrubs for pots in full sun so they complement each other.
Creeping Jenny (Lysimachia nummularia) – Perfect Draping Plant for a Window Box
Creeping Jenny is a glossy, evergreen plant that drapes over the sides of window boxes with ease. During the summer months, it grows yellow, cup-shaped flowers that add cheer to the display.
This hardy creeping perennial grows in both sunny and shady areas. The leaves become yellow in the sun and turn deep green in the shade. Try planting creeping Jenny along the front and sides of a window box display to create a natural and lush drape of green and yellow.
Petunia (Petunia × atkinsiana)
Petunias add mountains of color to containers and flower boxes. This annuals bloom all season long in shades of red, pink, blue, purple, white, and yellow. The blossoms are especially fragrant in the evenings and carry heavenly scents into the home.
Not only are these flowers vibrant with color, but they have a variety of striking patterns as well. They enjoy sunny locations and attract birds. With a mature height of 6 to 12 inches, these flowers are excellent for providing a colorful base around taller flowers.
Impatiens (Impatiens walleriana) – Most Colorful Flower
These tropical flowers come in a vast array of colors, including purple, red, orange, pink, blue, yellow, and white. The soft pastel and warm-colored blooms are striking against the green/blue foliage.
Impatiens are low maintenance and do not require deadheading to continue blooming. They are a shade plant that flowers continuously throughout the growing season. Fill a window box with these delicate and colorful flowers or use them as a base for taller plants.
Fuchsia (Fuchsia magellanica)
These flowering plants are as stunning as they are exotic. Fuchsia grows in hanging sprays of unique blossoms adorned in bright shades of red, purple, pink, orange, and white. The foliage color ranges from green/blue to chartreuse/gold and is a striking backdrop to the blooms.
Fuchsia grows in both sunny and shady locations, making it an ideal candidate for anywhere around your home. Their hanging length of 1 to 3 feet makes them a show stopper in a flower box. They bloom all growing-season, and attract hummingbirds.
Lobelia (Lobelia erinus) – Best Flowering Plant to Attract Hummingbirds
This plant produces spiky flowers in shades of pink, red, blue, and white that stands out against the purple/burgundy foliage. Not only does this flower provide your window box with a colorful display of blooms during the summer, but it also has bright fall foliage.
Lobelia enjoys consistently moist soil in partial to full sun areas. It reaches a height of 1 to 3 feet and makes an excellent centerpiece in the flower box. This flower is a favorite among hummingbirds, so planting them in a window box gives you a front-row seat to bird watching.
Angelonia (Angelonia Angustifolia)
This flowering plant provides continuous color that ranges from blue and purple to red, white, and pink. Angelonia blooms from spring to fall and has a stunning display of blooms that are similar to the snapdragon.
This sturdy flower handles the heat and humidity of summer with ease and requires very little maintenance. The flower stems reach a height of 1 to 3 feet, making this plant a good choice for the background or centerpiece of a window box. Place angelonia in a sunny location for the best growth.
Placing plant containers at each window, filled with colorful blooms, scented flowers, and gently trailing plants, not only creates a stunning visual appearance to your house but is a great way to bring nature as close to your home as possible.
Take a deep breath of the fragrant floral scents while admiring the beautiful flowers from your living room. Maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of a hummingbird!
It’s easy to create an eye-catching display of colorful flowers and cascading foliage using the best plants for window boxes, so go ahead and share our window box plant list with your family and friends on Pinterest and Facebook.